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  • From Madrid to Andalucia, past Windmills and Vineyards

    Windmills in Consuegra

    Toledo

    Parador de Toledo

    Parador de Toledo

    Hotel Puerta de la Luna

    Hotel Puerta de la Luna

    Hotel Puerta de la Luna

    Hotel Puerta de la Luna

    Las Casas de la Juderia

    Las Casa de la Juderia

    Las Casas de la Juderia

    Las Casas de la Juderia

    From Madrid to Andalucia, past Windmills and Vineyards

    Fly-drive - 7 nights / 8 days
    Experience the majestic history of Central Spain in picturesque Toledo, before travelling down to Andalucia, staying amongst the famous white-washed houses, and witnessing the marks left by a multitude of vibrant cultures as you go. Trace the influences of Moorish, Mudéjar, and Jewish design, visit the white windmills featured in the iconic work of Miguel de Cervantes, and sample some of La Mancha’s finest wines in the region’s capital, Valdepeñas. The three hotels on this seven-night touring holiday together blend Spain’s rich history and phenomenal views with chic elegance and a contemporary attention to detail.

    This luxury touring holiday takes you down from Spain’s capital into rustic Andalucia, through some of Spain’s most beautiful but unexplored areas. Start with two nights in Toledo, the country’s former capital. This picturesque city is built into a dramatic meander of the Tagus River, which stretches across the centre of Spain. Enjoy the stunning green views across the countryside and the rising spires and domes of Toledo, the City of Three Cultures, from the comfort of the luxury Parador de Toledo. Then, begin your journey south to Baeza, stopping off at the famous windmills of Consuegra, which feature in Cervantes’ ‘Don Quixote’, and then at the vineyards and bodegas of Valdepeñas, one of Spain’s most renowned Denomination of Origins. Spend three nights in the Puerta de la Luna hotel, enjoying the diverse city of Baeza, and exploring the delights of the surrounding olive groves, vineyards, and countryside. On your sixth day, drive down into Andalucia proper, and spend your last two nights at the Las Casas de la Juderia in Cordoba. This city, like Toledo, holds a wealth of contrasting and beautiful architecture, inspired by a variety of cultures, religions, and historical periods. Trace the pattern of Roman ruins that punctuates the streets, and see the many cultures of Spain mesh in the mediaeval mosque turned cathedral. On your way to Granada for your return flight, stop off at the Alhambra Palace, to see one of Spain’s most beautiful historical sights. Then, head to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
    Click here to download a pdf with details about this touring holiday.

    PRICES
    Prices from £1,340 per person based on two people sharing.

    What's included:
    • Scheduled flights with British Airways, from Gatwick to Madrid, and Malaga to Gatwick. Heathrow flights are also possible on some days of the week.
    • Group C car hire for duration of holiday
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a standard double room at the Parador de Toledo in Toledo
    • 3 nights bed and breakfast in a standard double room at the Puerta de la Luna in Baeza
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a standard double room at Las Casas de la Juderia in Cordoba

    Click the tabs above to view our suggested day-by-day touring itinerary and to find out more about the hotels featured.
    Click here to find out more about how our touring holidays work.

    From Madrid to Andalucia, past Windmills and Vineyards

    Day-by-Day Itinerary

    DAY ONE: Arrive in Madrid and drive south to Toledo for your first two nights
    Fly into Madrid, collect your hire car, and drive south to Toledo, Spain’s former capital, for two nights at the Parador de Toledo. This converted monastery is separated from the bustling city by a meander of the Tagus River and its lush, verdant banks. Raised on higher ground, the rooms have excellent views out across the domed skyline of Toledo, and the green agricultural land beyond. Spend a few hours on your first day walking around the eclectic City of Three Cultures, named as such because of its intriguing blend of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim influences.

    DAY TWO: Toledo
    During your stay, visit the central 13th Century Gothic Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo to see the golden altar, ribbed vaulted ceiling, and spectacular stained glass which dates back to the cathedral’s beginnings. Enter through the Puerta de Mollete, the doorway through which food was once given out to the poor, and see the marble tombs in the Capilla de Santiago, the retablo of the New Testament in the Capilla Mayor, and the rich collection of paintings in the Sanctuary. Alternatively, visit the Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz to see its traditionally Arabic keyhole archways and colourful stone. The Iglesia de Santiago del Arrabal is reputedly the most stunning example in the city of the Mudéjar architecture so prevalent in the region, with dark brick curved walls that are indented on all sides. The Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo does, however, incorporate many Mudéjar features into its Roman Catholic design. On the outskirts of the city, the remains of the Moorish town walls can be seen in the layered archway and battlements of the Puerta Vieja de Bisagra, while the Iglesia de Santo Tomé harks back to the city’s Moorish influence in its tower, which resembles one of the Minarets of Morocco. To reach your hotel from the city centre, cross the river on either the Puente de Alcantara or the Puente de San Martin, both of which are scenic historic bridges. In the evenings, enjoy the views from your terrace, and then dine in the restaurant on excellent gastronomic food based on the local cuisine and ingredients.

    DAY THREE: Drive further south to Baeza, and stay for the next three nights
    Leave the magnificent hilltop aspect of the Parador de Toledo behind, and continue south towards the border of Andalucia. Take this opportunity to stop off in Consuegra and Campo de Criptana to see the famous white windmills of Miguel de Cervantes’ ‘Don Quixote,’ or, alternatively, come back to visit them as part of a longer day-trip. These stout white-washed windmills, with black pointed roofs and traditionally gridded vanes, line the ridges of the land high above the fields below. With their small doors and surreal situation, they could quite easily be taken straight from a storybook. Take another detour or day-trip to Valdepeñas, the capital of the La Mancha wine region, and its surrounding vineyards. More than 30 bodegas are open to visitors, and offer the very best of the region’s red wines. The light red Clarete, or Aloque, and Rosado wines established this region as one of Spain’s best, though as time goes by robust aged and unaged reds that are soft as velvet with vibrant fruit flavours are becoming increasingly popular. Continue south from here and arrive at the hotel Puerta de la Luna in Baeza in the evening.

    DAYS FOUR AND FIVE: Baeza
    On your first day in Baeza, we recommend exploring the city in earnest, leaving the second day for revisiting anything you missed on the drive down. The white-washed houses of Baeza stand on a promontory which rises out of the Jaén landscape, which is otherwise dominated by olive trees. As you walk along the streets, you will notice the impressive legacy of Renaissance architecture, unusual for southern Spain. Then, enjoy some of the excellent Mediterranean cuisine in a local restaurant, such as the Palacio de Gallego, or have a lighter dish in a cafe. For a taste of some of Baeza’s best architecture, take in the cathedral, built in 1567 and decorated in soft whites and creams, and the unique Isabelline style of the Palacio de Jabalquinto. Perhaps venture out on your second day in Baeza into the Jaén province’s olive groves to taste some of the locally produced olive oil. Dine in the evening in the intimate courtyard of your hotel, or in a restaurant in town.

    DAY SIX: Continue into Andalucia and spend two nights in Cordoba

    From Baeza, drive on to Cordoba, a city which encapsulates the mixture of Jewish and Arabic influences in Andalucia, where you will stay for two nights at Las Casas de la Juderia. This converted fortress, though unassuming from the front, epitomises the heritage of Cordoba. Traditional Moorish keyhole archways break up the lounge and dark wood beams adorn the bedrooms. Tiled courtyards are built around fountains, and yellow-ochre walls and columns finish off the historic atmosphere. Spend these two days soaking up the Cordoban charm, navigating the uneven stairways that lace the Jewish quarter, and snake their way down narrow cobbled streets, drawing visitors out across the Puertas de Almodovar, into the lively hidden squares, and past quaint cafes and bars.

    DAY SEVEN: Cordoba
    During your stay be sure to visit the Mezquita de Cordoba, a medieval mosque turned Catholic cathedral, characterised by its 88 red and white striped pillars, and golden altar accompanied by painted portraits and a cross-arched ceiling. The architecture of this building is typical of the Omeya style, with hints of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance integration. The multi-cultural feel of Cordoba is at its peak beside the high pillars of the ancient Roman temples that emerge from the busy city streets with grace and authority. Formidable reconstructed Roman water wheels stand poised for action in the Guadalquivir river-bed. To see Cordoba through the eyes of an artist, take a walk along the Calle de las Flores, observing the decorative flowers that adorn the walls and attract local artists. The Palacio de Viana gives visitors a taste of the grandeur of the nearby Alcazar Palace, though we would recommend visiting there too, with beautiful courtyards and charming interior rooms. To see some of the local contemporary and historic artwork, visit the Episcopal Palace, opposite the Mezquita de Cordoba, or sit in one of Cervantes’ favourite spots on the Posada del Potro. Dine in the evenings in the Emporion Restaurant at the Hotel las Casas de la Juderia, in the ambience of dark wood, leather, and flourishes of gold leaf.

    DAY EIGHT: Return to the UK

    On your final day, drive south to Granada for your return flight to London, perhaps leaving time for a few hours in the city. If you have time, stop off at the Alhambra Palace, a complex of traditional Arabic architecture that dates back to the 9th century. Its scale, the intricate beauty of its rooms, and its commanding presence in the countryside has led it to be considered the crowning glory in the Arabic Art of the Emirate of Granada.

    Driving times for this touring holiday:
    Madrid to Toledo: 1 hour 5 minutes
    Toledo to Baeza: 2 hours 45 minutes
    Baeza to Cordoba: 3 hours
    Cordoba to Granada: 2 hours 25 minutes
    Granada to Malaga airport: 1 hour and 35 minutes

    Click the 'Hotel Information' tab to find out more about the hotels featured in this touring itinerary.

    Madrid to Andalucia 17 Mar 16

    Hotel Information

    These are the luxury hotels that feature on this touring holiday from Central to Southern Spain. Alternative hotels are available at some destinations - please contact us for full details.

    Parador de Toledo
    Toledo
    Parador de Toledo is a 4 star converted monastery located about 4km from the centre of Toledo, separated from the city by the Tagus River and its lush banks. There is an evident sense of history in the hotel’s exposed bricks and wooden terraces humbly placed against the domed skyline of Toledo’s mosques and its tall spired cathedral. Set on the Emperador Hill, Parador de Toledo offers atmospheric views of the city that are particularly beautiful at night, earning the local name, City of Lights. There is an understated elegance about Parador de Toledo’s white washed walls and wooden beamed ceilings which retain a sense of the hotel’s monastic past. The walls act as a canvas for intricate pieces of art work and large spacious rooms contain modern, comfortable furniture. The 79 individually decorated rooms offer spacious accommodation with a neutral colour tone of creams and creams. Rooms have terraces with views of the outdoor pool and some offer four poster beds. The restaurant at Parador de Toledo places importance on local gastronomy and offers a selection of traditional dishes with venison and honey, roast lamb and pisto manchego, which is similar to ratatouille, all paired with La Mancha wine. The outdoor pool is surrounded by sun loungers where guests may swim and relax against spectacular views of Toledo. Parador de Toledo’s close proximity to the city makes an ideal location for sight-seeing excursions and trips into Toledo’s countryside.
    Find out more here.

    Puerta de la Luna
    Baeza
    The former residence of a prominent 16th century family, the unassuming façade of Hotel Puerta de La Luna can be found amid the peaceful alleyways of Baeza’s old town. Through ancient, fortified doors you disappear into elegant interiors where original features abound. An internal patio demonstrates this best, where age-old stone columns support exposed wooden beams and decorative cobblestones fall underfoot. You can look down to this spot from the upper gallery, along which you gain access to some of the best rooms. Hotel Puerta de La Luna is undoubtedly deceiving in its size. An unexpected 44 guest rooms and suites can be found within, each individually decorated in a contemporary style that promotes light and airiness with a fresh palate, subtle lighting and terracotta floor tiles. Original features are retained where possible. Elsewhere, the popular La Pintada restaurant spills from a refined dining room out onto the outdoor patio area. Surrounded by the hotel’s three buildings, this walled enclosure features a small swimming pool and terrace overseen by the looming tower of the Cathedral de Baeza. Dine under orange and cypress trees for an authentic taste of celebrated local cuisine at an intimate table for two – either under the stars or beneath the protection of a shaded arcade lined with Romanesque columns. You can also enjoy light poolside lunches from the cafeteria here. The service is simple at Hotel Puerta de La Luna, the atmosphere is special and the address even more so, allowing for superb value for money at the heart of the historic centre of Baeza.
    Find out more here.

    Las Casas de la Juderia
    Cordoba
    A sublime maze of patios and courtyards, the four-star Hotel Las Casas de la Judería occupies a charming fortress palace in the Jewish quarter of Córdoba. Located midway between the Alcazar and the Mezquita, this boutique hotel exudes refined elegance - and a tangible sense of its own history. This is owed to a respectful refurbishment, in which the building’s original charm has remained intact due to scant modern embellishment. As befits the Andalucian tradition of outdoor living, Hotel Las Casas de la Judería holds a nexus of covered patios, terraces and flower-filled courtyards. These cute nooks, filled with archways and columns, are the perfect place for quiet reflection accompanied by the gentle soundtrack of water features. It is a pleasure to disappear here from the chaos of the bustling streets, while a small outdoor swimming pool is an exclusive addition at this central address. There is a type of simplicity in the hotel’s interior design that refuses to detract from the original character of the property. The galleria shows this best with its frugal decoration, featuring wooden floorboards and beams separated only by white walls; the feeling is almost mediaeval. By evening, dine on a menu of revamped Andalucian flavours in the converted stable buildings of Restaurante La Caballerizas de los Marqueses before retreating to guestrooms decorated with regal bed linens and views across the ancient rooftops of Córdoba to the majestic Mezquita.
    Find out more here.

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